Near-infrared camera enables real-time, accurate vein procedures

A new non-contact, near-infrared (NIR) camera that provides enhanced visualization of veins when drawing blood or placing IVs in a patient’s arm or hand is the result of a collaboration between the City University of New York (CUNY; New York, NY), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA), and Near Infrared Imaging, Inc. The camera, dubbed the Vein-Eye, displays real-time video for accurate and stress-free vein punctures.

Vein-Eye was developed by Dr. Stavros Demos using intellectual property (IP) developed at LLNL. Demos also used IP developed at the Institute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers by Dr. Robert Alfano, Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering in the Departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering at CUNY.

“The Vein-Eye makes use of two of the salient properties of light--polarization and near-infrared wavelengths--and the result is an increased ability to visualize veins,” Alfano explains. What's more, the technology is poised to improve patient care for a variety of patient populations by dramatically reducing the number of missed needle sticks, according to Doug Adams, director of commercialization at CUNY.

Vein-Eye has an MSRP between $1499 and $1899, depending upon accessories. It can be placed on a hospital cart or connect to a hospital bed, table, chair, or a phlebotomist’s chair. An early prototype was sent to a hospital in the Philippines after that country was shaken by earthquakes and floods. It was used with the most difficult patients: very young children who were very sick and their veins had collapsed. The Vein-Eye prototype was extremely successful and a significant help to the medical practitioners--and is still in operation today.

Vein-Eye is FDA-registered and units will be available for shipment in June 2014. For more information, please visit http://www.nearinfraredimaging.com.

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